Alert level changes mean anxious times for anyone organising events.
As well as health and safety, restricted numbers at gatherings mean most public events can only happen in Alert Level 1.
Three events that remain on the newspaper’s What’s On events calendar, for now, are the Ōrewa Santa Parade and two Galas/Ag Days which are major fundraisers for schools.
Work has been well underway on all these events for some time.
The Ōrewa Santa Parade is the biggest north of the harbour bridge – last year it drew an estimated crowd of 8000-9000. It is scheduled for Saturday, November 27.
Organiser of the event, the business association Destination Ōrewa Beach, has a lot to consider in a relatively short timeframe.
Operations manager Hellen Wilkins says out of respect for suppliers, attendees and participants, they would hope to make a call about continuing, deferring or cancelling as early as possible.
She says the organisation will assess its events before Labour Weekend, October 23-25. However, any decision made then could still have to be changed depending on Alert Levels.
“Events take hundreds of hours to co-ordinate. Hundreds of people are involved and thousands attend. The businesses generate much needed additional retail spend. All of which makes such decisions heart wrenching to make,” she says.
Cancellations of the Santa Parade have only occurred twice to date – in 2018 due to dire weather predictions and in 2011 because of resource consent issues.